11/11/2014 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints….
We were fortunate to visit the seat of the Empire in Washington, DC, last week to attend a conference (more on that to follow). The Washington DC area is home to some very moving war memorials. Among them those dedicated to those who gave their lives in World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War.
In nearby Arlington, Virginia the Arlington National Cemetery provides a resting place for approximately 400,000 soldiers. This Military Cemetery was established on 624 acres after the Civil War on the grounds of Arlington House, the former estate of Mary Anna Custis, a great-granddaughter of Martha Washington. Ms. Custis, of course, was the wife of none other than Confederate General Robert E. Lee.
Most famously, the Tomb of the Unknowns commemorates those who perished in conflict and could not be identified. It is the focal point for many at the Cemetery. It has been guarded around the clock since 1937 and its changing of the guard is one of the most solemn and precise disciplines in the US Military.
Today we watched television program recounting the history of the Navy SEALs, perhaps the most visible and celebrated contingent of the US Military. One thing that stuck out to us is that for the SEALs who shared their stories on the program, they saw their service as “fighting other’s battles.” Indeed, this is the spirit of the Veterans who have answered the call of duty throughout History. They train and then go willingly into the face of danger so that others don’t have to. They defend those who are unable or unwilling to defend themselves, and the depth of their sacrifices is too often overlooked.
Let it be not so this Veteran’s Day, as we remember those who have given their lives for many. You can read about a few we have been privileged to know here: An Ode to the Veterans We’ve Known